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sculpture, plaster

On display
Object / Artefact › Applied Arts and Design
  • Other titles
    • Discobolus of Myron
    • Diskobolos
  • Description
    plaster sculpture, Discobolus of Myron. A cast plaster sculpture of the discus thrower 'Discobolos' Taken from the bronze of the 5th century Greek sculptor Myron. The plinth is made of wood and rectangular in shaped, painted grey.

    From printed plaque on plinth 'Discobolus of Myron / Diskobolos. This image of a discus thrower was by Myron, a Greek sculptor of the 5th century BC. Only copies of the original bronze survive, two of which are in the Terme Museum, Rome. Discobolus dates from the beginning of the classical period of Greek art, when sculptors began expressing movement. He is posed about to throw his disc, and the twisted torso and legs in profile give a sense of dynamic tension. Presented by Thomas Russell, 1878.'

    see also
    BLACKLEY, L., Auckland War Memorial Museum - An Architectural History (Auckland Museum 1997)
    BLACKLEY, R., The Greek Sculptures in the Auckland War Memorial Museum (Art N.Z. Vol 48. Spring 1988)

    Athenian. Early Classical, ca. 450 B.C.
    Male nude: athlete throwing a discus
    Sculptor: Myron of Eleutherae
    Bronze original now lost.
    Marble copy: Terme Museum, Rome
    Height 1.53 m

    Applied Arts Collection, left hand missing

    Placed above the main Museum entrance

    A marble statue of an athlete throwing a discus found on the Esquiline Hill in Rome was identified as a copy of Myron's Discobolus from a description of his bronze original by Lucian. The Discobolus is an idealised 'victor statue' commemorating a living athlete.
    Myron preferred to work in bronze and was the leading sculptor in Athens in the middle years of the 5th Century BC. Discobolus was his masterpiece and is remarkable in its depiction of the 'tension of the psychological moment' of an intense physical action. The composition of the sculpture is based on a contrived moment of the rhythm of the curves between an imaginary back swing and fore swing as the naked athlete wheels about on his left foot to release the discus.
    The head is lowered and the arms curved, with the right hand flung back holding the discus. The left hand is placed forward over the bent right knee and the left foot is pressed against a tree stump. The pose is impossibly twisted at the waist so that the muscular torso is viewed from the frontal position while the head and limbs are in profile.

    The unknown Roman sculptor who carved the marble copy cut his Discobolus from the marble block on one plane. Technically, this indicates that Myron had created the original bronze statue to be seen mainly from the frontal viewpoint, possibly to suit a particular site similar to the platform above the main door of the Museum where the plaster replica is displayed.

    Bibliography and notes:
    Blackley, Greek Sculptures in the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Blackley gives a full account of the history and proposed function of the replicas. The replicas were made in the cast workshop of Brucciani's Galleria delle Belle Arti in Russell St, Covent Garden, London. N.B.: left hand now missing.

    Stewart gives a full account of Early Classical sculpture.

    Discobolus
    Athenian Classical ca. 450
    Male nude: athlete with a
    Sculptor: Myron of Eleutherae
    Bronze original lost.
    Plaster
    marble in the Terme, Rome
    Height 1.53 m.
  • Place
  • Other Number
    1996X2.274.1
  • Accession date
    1878
  • Collection area
  • Item count
    1
  • Display location
    3733
  • Record richness
sculpture, plaster, 1996X2.274.1, Photographed by Daan Hoffmann, digital, 28 Feb 2018, © Auckland Museum CC BY
sculpture, plaster, 1996X2.274.1, Photographed by Daan… … Read more

Artefact

  • Credit
    gift of Mr Thomas Russell, Auckland, 1878, collection of Auckland War Memorial Museum, 1878
  • Production
    Brucciani (workshop of)
    Myron (after)
    Covent GardenLondonEnglandUnited KingdomEurope
    1870s
    Victorian, Contemporary Age, European and British, art and design period
    casting
  • Signature/marks
    'Discobolus of Myron / Diskobolos. This image of a discus thrower was by Myron, a Greek sculptor of the 5th century BC. Only copies of the original bronze survive, tow of which are in the Terme Museum, Rome. Discobolus dates from the beginning of the classical period of Greek art, when sculptors began expressing movement. He is posed about to throw his disc, and the twisted torso and legs in profile give a sense of dynamic tension. Presented by Thomas Russell, 1878.'  (label)
  • Consists of
  • Dimensions
    • .1 - statue height x width x depth/length (approximate) : 1650 x 560 x 1060mm
      (discobolus: height 1650 x width 560 x depth 1060 mm plinth: height 750 x width 882 x depth 541 mm)
    • .2 - plinth height x width x depth/length (approximate) : 750 x 882 x 541mm
  • Classification
  • Record created
    20 February 2003

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